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No Elizabethan Courtier, He

July 2024
1min read

I am writing about your wallpaper article in the December 1981 issue. The Zuber panel of the “Capitulation of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia” on pages 86–87 has a caption above it with a remark about the “Elizabethan” courtier.

I suggest that the person depicted is Thaddeus Kosciusko, the Polish patriot and Father of Army Engineers. He erected the fortifications at West Point, built the defensive works along the Delaware, and fortified Saratoga so that the colonials won that important battle.

The four-cornered hat with plume was the typical military head covering of Polish officers in that day—although I doubt whether Kosciusko would have been wearing such headgear in America! The long jacket with braid across the chest was likewise Polish in origin.

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